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Jersey Water Works Co-Sponsors New One Water Awards Program

June 12th, 2017 by New Jersey Future staff

Jersey Water Works, the statewide cross-sector collaborative focused on upgrading New Jersey’s outdated water infrastructure, has partnered with the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA) and the American Water Works Association – New Jersey Section to debut the New Jersey One Water Awards, which will recognize water infrastructure programs or projects that address water issues on a holistic and sustainable level.

The organizations are jointly sponsoring the awards to spotlight those programs that exemplify integration across the water cycle, that reflect collaboration, innovation, and public education, and that advance long-term sustainability by meeting multiple needs and generating multiple benefits. Read the rest of this entry »

Census Numbers Confirm Renewed Growth in Urban Areas

May 26th, 2017 by Tim Evans

Redevelopment along the Jersey City waterfront. Source: King of Hearts via wikimedia

The Census Bureau released 2016 municipal population estimates yesterday. The new data once again illustrate that redevelopment is the new normal, with built-out places reversing decades of stagnation and sometimes outright population loss to become the primary drivers of growth in the years since the 2008 recession. This is a continuation of a trend we noted last year, and in previous years.

The 271 municipalities that were at least 90 percent built out as of 2007 (meaning that they have already built on most or all of their buildable land) accounted for a full two-thirds (66.8 percent) of total statewide population growth between 2008 and 2016. This same group of municipalities only accounted for a negligible 3.6 percent of total growth between 2000 and 2008, so the post-recession turnaround is quite dramatic. Read the rest of this entry »

Report: Changes in Affordable Housing Tax Credit Criteria Move More People to High-Opportunity Areas

May 23rd, 2017 by Tim Evans

New Jersey results contrast with national numbers; could provide example for other states on how to begin reversing the trend of concentrated poverty.

Part of the Heritage at Alexander Hamilton development in Paterson, financed in part with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

While recent news reports have highlighted the low number of affordable housing projects using federal tax credits that are built in high-opportunity areas, a recent examination by New Jersey Future has found that strategic changes in the way federal funds are allocated for affordable housing in the state have meant that many more affordable housing projects have been directed away from high-poverty neighborhoods and toward areas that offer greater economic opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Re-Forum’ Will Tackle Updates to State’s Land-Use Law

May 5th, 2017 by New Jersey Future staff

Has the state’s Municipal Land Use Law helped or hindered your efforts to redevelop vibrant, walkable communities? Now is your chance to participate in a re-examination process of this important development and redevelopment law. New Jersey Future is part of a Steering Committee formed to help guide a comprehensive re-examination of the state’s MLUL. The effort will be focused on developing “ways to enhance and update the MLUL to reflect 21st-century planning advancements, recognize the diversity of conditions across municipalities, create an efficient, value-driven review process, and ensure development and preservation outcomes that support shared statewide priorities of prosperity, environmental stewardship, affordability, mobility, public health & safety, quality places and sustainable design.” Read the rest of this entry »

New Office Market Report: Transit Service Is Key

April 12th, 2017 by Elaine Clisham

Housing near a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station in Jersey City. Photo courtesy of NJTPA.

Photo courtesy of NJTPA.

A recent report from commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle confirms what has been anecdotally clear in New Jersey for some time: Office facilities that are well served by transit are seeing significantly higher rents and lower vacancy rates than their transit-non-accessible counterparts. This echoes research the firm did last spring on the New Jersey market specifically.

The report notes that not all companies can afford Class A office space in the densest cities, so many of them are seeking out sub-markets with good transit infrastructure. Office properties in those markets are enjoying rental premiums of almost 80 percent, and are seeing vacancy rates more than three percentage points lower, compared to properties in markets not served by transit. And almost half of all new office construction is taking place in transit-accessible sub-markets. Read the rest of this entry »

What is the Value of Green Infrastructure? New Tools and Events Drill Down

April 11th, 2017 by Louise Wilson

More and more people – from environmental advocates, to developers, to homeowners – have a general understanding of green stormwater infrastructure, also known as GSI or GI. The term encompasses all manner of stormwater management practices that capture stormwater near where it falls, allowing it to infiltrate into the ground or be stored for a beneficial re-use such as irrigation.

It’s one thing to appreciate the concept. What’s not to like about an approach that recharges groundwater, conserves drinking water, helps prevent flooding, saves energy and makes cities and towns cooler, safer and more beautiful? But the numbers have to work, too; the benefits must equal or exceed the costs. As New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach and New Jersey Builders Association board chairman George Vallone wrote recently in a joint message introducing the new Developers’ Green Infrastructure Guide, “Innovation is great; it drives progress. But it also has to benefit the bottom line.” Read the rest of this entry »

Forum Roundup: Reinforce Your Redevelopment Strategy With Good Data

April 10th, 2017 by Elaine Clisham

The updated plan for Rowan Boulevard, which grew eightfold after research indicated a larger plan would work financially. Courtesy JGSC Group

At one of the breakout sessions at this year’s Redevelopment Forum, Joe Getz from the downtown economic-consulting organization JGSC Group gave a clinic on the importance of using good data to make decisions on downtown redevelopment projects. The familiar developer refrain “We’ve done this many times,” he cautioned, “is not data.”

There are lots of kinds of data besides demographic and Census data, he said, including interviews, surveys, and economic analysis. Such data tell us who will buy the housing we plan to build; who will shop in the stores; who will dine in the restaurants and what kind of dining they like. Census data doesn’t include any of those things, but they’re crucial to putting together redevelopment plans that will work. Read the rest of this entry »

Forum Roundup: Making the Affordable Housing Numbers Work(able)

April 5th, 2017 by Elaine Clisham

Freedom Village, on the site of the former Apollo Dye factory in Paterson, provides affordable housing for low-income seniors. Photo courtesy of Pennrose Properties

“It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times” is how moderator Tony Marchetta from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency kicked off the affordable housing session at this year’s Redevelopment Forum.

It’s the best of times, he said, because courts are now starting to get specific about municipal obligations, and, at the federal level, there is a push to expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit by 50 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

Forum Roundup: Reimagining the Suburbs

March 27th, 2017 by Tim Evans

Village Center in Plainsboro. Photo courtesy of Mark Cannuli, Sharbell Development Corp.

New Jersey Future’s 2017 Redevelopment Forum featured among its breakout sessions a two-part series on redefining suburbs to adapt to changing demographic realities. The morning session highlighted demographic and economic trends that are driving new demand for in-town living and “live-work-play” environments. The afternoon session then featured practitioners who have worked on projects of various types that had in common the goal of attracting new residents who are looking for a compact, walkable, mixed-use center. Read the rest of this entry »

Guide Helps Unlock New Resources for Stormwater Management

March 23rd, 2017 by New Jersey Future staff

This article was written by Kessie Alexandre, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University and an intern at Jersey Water Works.

Workshop participants consider possible CSO+ project focus areas including economic development and redevelopment, parking and street upgrades, public housing, public health, energy efficiency, schools, broadband and internet access, and coastal protection.

On March 8, the New Jersey Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Permittee Network convened to share lessons and to brainstorm ideas for the future of stormwater management across the state. Held at the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, the meeting included a multimodal CSO+ workshop on “Unlocking Untapped Resources for Addressing CSOs” led by re:focus partners, as well as a presentation on an integrated CSO project already under way in the city of Hoboken. As Andy Kricun, executive director of the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, explained, the meeting was “a good opportunity to share information and resources and include different stakeholders.” Read the rest of this entry »

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